Find out how staff can join the Connector Programme and the support available

Connector Programme projects

The Connector Programme intends to create a positive impact on the student experience, therefore we engage Connector teams to work on topics that will impact the entire, or sections of the student body. If your area of work includes a student–facing element, or you are looking to develop one, working with a Connector team will provide you with a fresh, diverse and informed student perspective.

If you are interested in collaborating with Student Connectors please contact the team directly on to discuss.

Support for staff connectors

The Connector Programme team will support prospective and current Staff Connectors with:

  • developing a Connector Team Proposal
  • recruitment, selection and training for Student Connectors
  • induction session and ongoing advice to support managing and developing a Connector team
  • resources to support project evaluation and promotion.

Staff can also reach out to the Connector Programme team for support at any time. We have run a wide variety of connector projects to date and are happy to share our experience or connect you with other staff members who run related projects.

  • Connector Programme impact

    Since the programme began in 2021, 231 Connectors have worked over 23,500 hours on more than 30 different projects.

    Our aim as a programme is to over-represent students from under-represented groups in our Connector community:

    • 47% of the Student Connector cohort identifies as BAME, compared to 35% of the wider student population at Sussex
    • 24% of the Student Connector cohort have declared a disability, compared to 21% of the wider student population at Sussex

    Our Connector community includes:

    • 80 students who are the first in their families to attend university
    • 44 mature students
    • 11 students who are or who have been carers
    • 7 students from military families.

    At the end of their work on the programme:

    • 100% of Connectors felt like they had developed positive and productive relationships with members of staff
    • 93% of Connectors felt the programme gave them the opportunity to work with people from a variety of backgrounds
    • 97% of Connectors felt like a part of a friendly and respectful community when working on their projects.

    Read more in our Connector Programme impact reports:

  • Awards and achievements

    The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS)

    The Placement Connector Team 2020/21 led by Claire Colburn and Jasmin Tse won The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) Supporting Student / Graduate Employability Award 2021 at the AGCAS Awards for Excellence Showcase.

    They showed effective development and implementation of an initiative with the ultimate aim of improving student/graduate outcomes. Fourteen students were employed as Placement Connectors working through the entire academic year, creating high-quality, high-impact and stable student jobs. The main aim was to help placement searchers in their departments to acquire placement years.

    One of the AGCAS Final Judging Panel said: "The impact of this outstanding project is strong, with impressive evidence of student's voice. The project's goals are clearly aligned with what is important to students. Placements can be quite anxiety-provoking for students, and Student Connectors are a brilliant idea."

    The Sussex Education Awards 2021, Learning Together award

    The Sussex Education Awards celebrates outstanding care and compassion towards students.

    The Learning Together awards for staff and students who have worked closely together, collaborating on the teaching experience.

    In 2021, the University of Sussex Business School Assessment Connector Team won the Learning Together award, for their project which enabled the co-production of refreshed assessment criteria for the School. This was a true staff-student partnership, which sought to drive change in practice within the School.

  • Staff Connector Stories

    Academic Skills

    Clare Hardman (Academic Skills Manager) and Georgia Shakeshaft (Media Studies Student and Student Connector) discuss how co-creation has improved academic skills support at Sussex.

    Clare Hardman:

    “Students are now at the centre of what we do. Our Connectors are passionate and they want to make changes – it is inspiring and exciting to work with them. Their voice reminds us of things that are important to students and helps us to focus on how we deliver our academic skills services.”

    Read more on the Student Hub.


    Professor Claire Smith (Head of Anatomy at BSMS, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Innovation at Sussex) and Jessie Phillips (Psychology Student and Student Connector) discuss the importance of co-creation in making Sussex Direct and Canvas accessible and user-friendly.

    Professor Claire Smith:

    "The Digital Connectors are core to the development of the digital environment at Sussex. As we all live digital lives we need to ensure that the digital ecosystem supports our lives and learning. The Digital Connectors are important to enable the student experience and voice come through on all we do in this."

    Read more on the Student Hub.

    Media, Arts and Humanities

    Professor Mary Krell (Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Media Arts and Humanities and Emma Green (American & Film Studies Student and Student Connector) speak about how co-creation helped faculty think creatively about assessment and feedback.

    Professor Mary Krell:

    "One of the things I love about our Connector groups is that each works a bit differently. On some projects, the Connectors discussed issues around assessment and feedback. Another included a brief to help us seriously rethink assessments to make them more inclusive and better suited to what we teach. I think that the flexibility to support different styles of co-creation is a key reason the Connector Programme is so great."

    Read more on the Student Hub.